The Common Good
June 2008

New and Noteworthy

by Molly Marsh | June 2008

The Collected Sermons of William Sloane Coffin; Lord, Save Us From Your Followers, directed by Dan Merchant; The Poverty and Justice Bible; Founding Faith, by Steven Waldman.

Public Prophet

For 10 years, William Sloane Coffin comforted the afflicted and afflicted the comfortable from the pulpit at New York City's Riverside Church. Now you can read his weekly exhortations in The Collected Sermons of William Sloane Coffin, from Westminster John Knox Press. Coffin was deeply engaged in the political and social questions of our time; in a sermon on the sin of nuclear weapons, he wrote, "I can hear [Jesus] saying, 'Let the nation without sin among you aim the first missile.'"

Godless Christians

In Lord, Save US from Your Followers: Why is the Gospel of Love Dividing America? director Dan Merchant sets out to uncover why the culture war over religion is so devoid of love and compassion. The pop culture-infused documentary follows Merchant through person-on-the-street interviews and confessional "tents," as well as a Family Feud-style game in which so-called secularists knew far more about Christianity than their Christian opponents. www.lordsaveusthemovie.com.

Living Color

We've long talked about those 2,000 verses in the Bible that address issues of poverty and injustice, and now there's a Bible that literally highlights—in orange—all of them. The Poverty and Justice Bible, from the U.K.-based Bible Society, includes a 30-page insert that explores specific topics with suggestions for further reflection and acction. www.povertyandjusticebible.org.

Christian America?

The founding fathers were neither evangelical Christians nor wholly secular, despite the raging custody battle partisans have waged over them, writes Steven Waldman in Founding Faith: Providence, Politics, and the Birth of Religious Freedom in America. The journalist and CEO of Beliefnet.com traces the complex and sometimes surprising history of early America's deliberation over the role of religion. Random House.

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